Work Smarter Not Harder

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BILL PORTER’S CUSTOM MADE TOOL & FIXTURE

The ole saying “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” of which you can factor in a good amount of laziness because all of us like to do things easier.  Personally, I like to use the phrase, Work Smarter Not Harder even though you can correlate it back to the laziness aspect of the first sentence.

Having fired and cleaned my own personal weapons since the age of eleven (11), there just is not an easy way to effectively clean weapons.  Sure, we have Ultrasonic cleaning machines which do a very good job but they do require a considerable amount of prep work especially if you are using a water based product which is what most of the DOC uses in their machines.  Let’s not forget about the Parts Washing Machines but you just can not get away from the usage of the wire tooth brush and bore and cylinder brushes to scrub that “carbon/lead” buildup from the weapon.

My latest Work Smarter Not Harder project is a holding fixture for the Smith & Wesson Model 65 revolver that allows folks like myself (Senior Citizen) category to sit down while cleaning our standard revolver.  The picture below is pretty much self explanatory.



This fixture features a toggle DeStaCo 210-U clamp with holding blocks with holes bored and shaped to fit the cylinder and the barrel of the revolver.  Downward pressure is adjustable simply by the bolt/nut going through the clamp rod that is over the top of the upper clamp block.

The fixture is a little crude by machine shop standards but I had only a hand drill and a few other tools such as hack saw, jig saw and a PortaBand saw which doesn’t cut that square free hand.  A drill press would just about be a necessity to complete this fixture.  A similar fixture was fashioned quite a few years back for the jaws of our armory vise but it requires you to stand while cleaning the revolver cylinder and this was long before the study of ergonomics was a day to day term!

The holding or clamping blocks were fashioned from scrap Brazilian rosewood which was almost sacra religious since the Brazilian government does not ship solid woods out anymore and I had that wood since the early to mid 1970’s; talk about a “Pack Rat.”  I believe I had them “ear marked” for knife handles but my Custom Made Randall knife put that notion on the back stove burner.  The main cylinder clamp hole was bored with a 1.5 inch diameter Forstner drill bit and the barrel clamp hole was bored using a .75 inch diameter Forstner drill bit.  You could use a hole saw drill bit in a pinch.  The final fitting of the barrel portion of the clamp blocks was done with a Dremel tool and small router bit.  The supports for the DeStaCo clamp was some scrap 1” square aluminum tubing stacked on top of each other which was about the correct height.  The clamp block dimensions are 4” length by 2” wide by 1.5” height and a piece of 1/8” filler material was positioned between the two blocks to allow adjustment tension between the two clamp blocks and the filler was removed once the two blocks were drilled for the cylinder and barrel holes.

The fixture was field tested today and exceeded my expectations.  In actual usage, a bronze wire brush and/or Lead Wipe aka Lead Away cloth was adapted to an arbor and spun slowly in a cordless drill.  If using a Stainless Steel brush and you went to sleep while spinning the brush at a very high rate of speed, you might end up with a smooth bore barrel instead of having lands and grooves in the barrel!  It would take a tremendous amount of spinning but it could happen!  Cleaning the end of the cylinder is just as easy; chuck the extractor rod in your drill and let it spin while holding a piece of Lead Away cloth next to the face of the cylinder and it doesn't take long to have the burnt powder stain gone and back to a polished factory new finish.

I have another custom designed tool to tighten/loosen the revolver extractor screw in rod and it is far superior to the tool that Brownells sells in their catalog.  In fact, the Brownell tool will not loosen extremely tight extractor rods and my tool has never failed yet.  A few of the DOC Smith & Wesson Armorer's have “borrowed” my idea which is perfectly fine by me.  Pix follows:



This tool is very easy to make using a 10WR Vise Grip pliers with a clamp block fashioned to fit the .312 inch diameter extractor rod.  Smith & Wesson uses a small table vise to tighten/loosen the extractor rod but this tool easily fits in the tool box and goes to the range, etc. and does not scar the extractor rod.  If you don’t have the means to weld, get a shop to do it for you…only four (4) welds needed.

Again, Work Smarter Not Harder.

By Bill Porter, Armory Officer BCCI 06-07-05.

NOTE:  It was a blessing when the DOC replaced the S&W Model 65 Revolver with their S&W M&P 40 caliber pistol which required less time to clean and much easier to maintain.  Glad all that is behind me now.......grin if you must!  07-02-13.

Written on 06-07-05 and web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 07-02-13.

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